Throughout the Bible, up to the last chapter of Revelation, trees are seen as important to mankind. Many varieties of trees are cited in the Bible.
The cedar became a temple, the fig, a covering, and the gopher an ark. A tree was connected with man’s sin. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 3:1-7). Another tree played a key role in the price of man’s sin. At Calvary, the Lord Jesus Christ died by crucifixion upon a tree.
The Fig Tree
The first species mentioned by name
in the Bible is the fig (Gen 3:7). This tree has sometimes been labeled a hypocrite tree because the fruit is green and not easily detected among the leaves until it is nearly ripe. It is only by close examination in the early stages that the fruit can be detected. Jesus came to a fig tree, desiring fruit, but found only leaves. He cursed the tree, and it fried up from the roots (Mark 11:12-14, 20).
After they have sinned, Adam and Eve used fig leaves to try to hide their sinfulness from the eyes of a searching God (Gen 3:6-13).
One time a fig tree was used to enable someone to see Jesus (Luke 19:1-10). Zacchaeus climbed into a sycamore tree (a type of fig tree) to see Jesus as he passed that way. It is not unusual for a sycamore tree to reach a height of fifty feet.
The Olive Tree
Another tree of importance, especially in the land of Israel, was the olive. The tree became the Biblical symbol for the nation of Israel (Rom. 11:15-25). Its berries continue to be leading articles of Israeli commerce. This tree has been called an emblem of peace, prosperity, and wealth (Ps. 128). When the olive crop fails, it is considered to be a sign of divine wrath (Jer. 11:16-23).
Needing no irrigation, the olive tree thrives well in the Palestinian hills. Since animal fat cannot be kept for a long time, olive oil became the only source of fat for consumption and frying. Additionally, the oil served as a base for all cosmetics and cleaning products. Used in clay lamps, it was the main source for lighting.
Its economic value was much enhanced by the fact that the great river valleys of Egypt and Mesopotamia have unsuitable soil and climate for the cultivation of olives; therefore, olive oil became a major item of export.
Olive oil was also used in the tabernacle for light and ceremonial anointing by the priests of God (Exod. 30: 24- 25; Lev. 24:2-4). It even plays a role in
the book of Genesis. When the dove returned with an olive leaf in its mouth, Noah knew the waters had receded from the earth.
The Cedar Tree
The cedar tree was chosen for the temple of God in Jerusalem (I Kings 6:9-20). There are several possible reasons for this tree’s having been chosen. “The wood is not attacked by insect pests; it is free from knots. It has remarkable lasting qualities.”
The cedar forests in Lebanon were famous, and the people traveled great distances just to see them. These trees grew to heights of 120 feet and girths of 40 feet. Their life span was often over two thousand years. The cedars of Lebanon are now very rare; their glory has passed.
The cedar tree was used to build not only the temple of the Lord but also Solomon’s house and other public edifices in Jerusalem. It was used for roofing the temple of Diana at Ephesus and that of Apollo at Utica, and other famous buildings.
The Oak Tree
Another tree known for its longevity is the oak. The sturdy oak stood as a witness to certain events. In the time of the patriarchs, Jacob took the false idols from the members of the household and buried them under an oak at Shechem (Gen. 35:4). It was by an oak tree that, years later, Joshua took idols from the nation of Israel, who promised to serve only the true God (Josh. 24:14-26). Was it the same tree? The scriptures do not tell us, but some scholars infer that this may be true.
When the land of Israel was oppressed by Midian, the Angel of the Lord appeared unto Gideon under an oak tree. There the angel made a covenant with Gideon to deliver Israel from their oppression (Judg. 6:11-19).
One of the most interesting uses of trees in the Scriptures is as a simile for a person’s life – a productive tree and a barren tree. The principle of the comparison still applies to our lives today.
Verses Compiled by :
Last Updated : May 16, 2014
“In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.”
Isaiah 4:2, KJV
“Therefore the LORD will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day.”
Isaiah 9:14, KJV
“But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet.”
Isaiah 14:19, KJV
“In that day shall his strong cities be as a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch, which they left because of the children of Israel: and there shall be desolation.”
Isaiah 17:9, KJV
“Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers, as the heat in a dry place; even the heat with the shadow of a cloud: the branch of the terrible ones shall be brought low.”
Isaiah 25:5, KJV
“Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.”
Isaiah 60:21, KJV
“And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable unto the house of Israel; And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had divers colours, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar: He cropped off the top of his young twigs, and carried it into a land of traffick; he set it in a city of merchants. He took also of the seed of the land, and planted it in a fruitful field; he placed it by great waters, and set it as a willow tree. And it grew, and became a spreading vine of low stature, whose branches turned toward him, and the roots thereof were under him: so it became a vine, and brought forth branches, and shot forth sprigs. There was also another great eagle with great wings and many feathers: and, behold, this vine did bend her roots toward him, and shot forth her branches toward him, that he might water it by the furrows of her plantation. It was planted in a good soil by great waters, that it might bring forth branches, and that it might bear fruit, that it might be a goodly vine. Say thou, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Shall it prosper? shall he not pull up the roots thereof, and cut off the fruit thereof, that it wither? it shall wither in all the leaves of her spring, even without great power or many people to pluck it up by the roots thereof. Yea, behold, being planted, shall it prosper? shall it not utterly wither, when the east wind toucheth it? it shall wither in the furrows where it grew . . . Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar, and will set it; I will crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one, and will plant it upon an high mountain and eminent: In the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it: and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar: and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell. And all the trees of the field shall know that I the LORD have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish: I the LORD have spoken and have done it.”
Ezekiel 17:1-10, 22-24, KJV
“Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.”
Ezekiel 28:13-15, KJV
“Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs. The waters made him great, the deep set him up on high with her rivers running round about his plants, and sent out her little rivers unto all the trees of the field. Therefore his height was exalted above all the trees of the field, and his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long because of the multitude of waters, when he shot forth. All the fowls of heaven made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young, and under his shadow dwelt all great nations. Thus was he fair in his greatness, in the length of his branches: for his root was by great waters. The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs, and the chesnut trees were not like his branches; nor any tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty. I have made him fair by the multitude of his branches: so that all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied him. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast lifted up thyself in height, and he hath shot up his top among the thick boughs, and his heart is lifted up in his height; I have therefore delivered him into the hand of the mighty one of the heathen; he shall surely deal with him: I have driven him out for his wickedness. And strangers, the terrible of the nations, have cut him off, and have left him: upon the mountains and in all the valleys his branches are fallen, and his boughs are broken by all the rivers of the land; and all the people of the earth are gone down from his shadow, and have left him. Upon his ruin shall all the fowls of the heaven remain, and all the beasts of the field shall be upon his branches: To the end that none of all the trees by the waters exalt themselves for their height, neither shoot up their top among the thick boughs, neither their trees stand up in their height, all that drink water: for they are all delivered unto death, to the nether parts of the earth, in the midst of the children of men, with them that go down to the pit.”
Ezekiel 31:3-14, KJV
“But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up in his estate, which shall come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail:”
Daniel 11:7, KJV
“He shall not depart out of darkness; the flame shall dry up his branches, and by the breath of his mouth shall he go away. Let not him that is deceived trust in vanity: for vanity shall be his recompence. It shall be accomplished before his time, and his branch shall not be green. He shall shake off his unripe grape as the vine, and shall cast off his flower as the olive. For the congregation of hypocrites shall be desolate, and fire shall consume the tabernacles of bribery.”
Job 15:30-34, KJV
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”
Psalms 1:1-3, KJV
“He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.”
Proverbs 11:28, KJV
“Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.”
Matthew 24:32-33, KJV
“Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near: So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.”
Mark 13:28-29, KJV
- Guest Post by Helen Cronin
- Gardens of the Bible
- The First Garden
- Shulamite’s Garden
- The Garden at Gethsemane
- Walking with the Master Gardener
- The Gardens Of The Bible
- Berean Bible Society
- PARADISE LOST
- A GARDEN FOR THE REDEEMED
- PARADISE RESTORED
- PARADISE EXALTED or THE HEAVENLY PARADISE
- THE PARADISE OF GOD
- Bible verses about flowers
- Genesis 2:4-3:24 New International Version (NIV)
- The Garden of Eden – Genesis 1:26 – 1:31
Guest Post by Helen Cronin
I’m so excited for this guest post on gardens of the Bible by my good friend Helen Cronin! Get ready for a great Bible study that will make your mouth water and your heart long for the God who designed us to work in the garden. That’s right…we were actually created for work, and work in the garden was our first job! Learn more about God’s design for work and work-life balance here. By the way, if you can’t tell, Helen is from the UK. (No, Grammarly, I’m not going to change her spelling to the American way!) If you enjoy this post, you’ll love her free ebook on how to design your own garden!
You may have heard the phrase “Life began in the Garden” but which garden and where? After the LORD God had finished creating the Universe, the sky, the stars, the land and the sea, as well as all the creatures within it, He created man. And the LORD God placed him in the Garden and asked him to tend it. The first garden, the first gardener, and the beginning of the first occupation of Mankind – gardening. It’s the first of the gardens of the Bible we think of: Eden (Genesis 2:15).
Gardens of the Bible
Gardens of the Bible were places of beauty, shelter, and sustenance. The fruit trees and vines, fragrant herbs and other useful plants, as well as natural water supplies, were all key elements of design.
The LORD God created the first garden, Eden (see below). After Eden, the Bible mentions numerous gardens and their attributes. In the Song of Solomon 6:11 and Luke 13:19, a garden is referred to as a place of shelter and shade, and also as a place of protection (Song of Solomon 4:12).
The garden mentioned in Esther 1:5 becomes the setting for a glamorous social event, when King Ahasuerus hosts a 7-day feast. It is also recognised as a place of provision of food in Jeremiah 29:5,28 and Amos 9:14. Gardens of the Bible are also seen as a place for quiet retreat and meditation (see Esther 7:7 and Matthew 26:36-46).
In John 18:1-2 the garden is a place to meet with friends (more on this later).
There are also gardens of the Bible mentioned that belonged to specific people but of which we have no details:
- Solomon’s garden Ecclesiastes 2:5-6
- The King’s garden in Jerusalem: II Kings 25:4, Nehemiah 3:15, Jeremiah 39:4 and 52:7
A second Garden of Eden is foretold in Revelation 22:2. At the end of time as we know it, there will be a new Heaven and a new Earth (Revelation 21:1) and a New Jerusalem. The New Jerusalem is to be planted with the Tree of Life. The trees planted on either side of the river that runs through the city will bear twelve fruits, each yielding its fruit every month, as well as leaves for the healing of the nations. (I just love that – “the healing of the nations!” – Joy).
The First Garden
So what do we know of the very first garden which was probably located in the region of what we now call the Nile?
“The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.
And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The Tree of Life was also in the midst of the Garden, and the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden.” Genesis 2:8-10 (NKJV)
God is the Master Designer, not only of you and me, and of the world in which we live but also of the first garden. But what did the Garden look like?
- It must have been beautiful as every tree was ‘pleasant to the sight’
- It was irrigated by the river
- It was productive – trees were ‘good for food’
- Possibly it was enclosed – sadly we know this as after Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God ‘drove then out’ of Eden and a Cherubim was placed in the way to keep them from re-entering
- Fig trees grew there – Adam and Eve made the first clothing from fig leaves sewn together (Genesis 3:7)
- The planting was dense enough to provide seclusion, as we see when Adam and Eve hid from the LORD God (Gen 3:9)
- No apple trees are mentioned although tradition says that Eve gave of this fruit to Adam
As a result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience and subsequent banishment from the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:22-24), the face of gardening and diet changed:
- Thorns and thistles grew
- Instead of tree fruits, Adam and Eve ate the herbs of the field
- They grew grain crops and made bread
- Adam’s job description changed from tending a garden to the sweaty tilling of the ground (Genesis 3:17-20)
Eden is synonymous with a place of perfect beauty, tranquillity, and flawless design. Many have tried to emulate it, and it is something we can certainly aspire to but in this fallen world, we will not be able to perfect it.
My favourite garden and the one that is described in most detail is that which is found in the Song of Solomon. This book of the Bible is full of imagery and symbolism much of which the reader of its day could identify with. And we can appreciate the description of the garden from our knowledge of Gardens and Garden design today.
In Song of Solomon 4:12-16, the garden is described as an enclosed (ie walled) garden. It has spring water and a fountain. There is an orchard of Pomegranates (today 10+ trees are commonly accepted as the definition of an Orchard). There are fragrant plants and herbs growing within the garden: Henna, Spikenard, Saffron (Crocus), Calamus, Cinnamon, Frankincense, Myrrh, and Aloes. The warm southerly winds bring out the fragrance of the garden, the cooler northerly winds carry the scent out of the garden and beyond.
From other references within the Book, we can assume the pleasant fruit to eat (Song 4:16) could be Apples, Figs, and Grapes, as well as the Pomegranates already mentioned. Bees are not mentioned but the evidence of their presence is ie Honey and Honeycomb (Song 5:11). In Song 6:11 within the environs of the garden there is a green valley and a Nuttery (a plantation of Nut trees, possibly Almonds as mentioned in Ecclesiastes 11:5).
The Garden at Gethsemane
One of the most significant gardens of the Bible must surely be that of Gethsemane. It was a place well-known to the Disciples of the Lord Jesus, as He met often with them there. On the evening that Jesus celebrates the Passover with His disciples, and institutes what has become known as the Lord’s Supper, He and eleven of His disciples go to the garden. And it is here we witness one of the saddest events of Jesus’ earthly life, the betrayal by His disciple Judas Iscariot, and His subsequent arrest. Within hours, the Crucifixion takes place. (See Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22 and John 18)
In the Garden of Gethsemane, the closing chapter of the plan of redemption begins. The only path to the restoration of fellowship between God and Man.
And after the account of the Crucifixion we read of one other Garden. The Tomb where Nicodemus laid the body of the Lord Jesus was in a Garden (John 19:41) When Mary Magdalene goes there, she meets someone she assumes is the Gardener but it is the Lord, risen from the dead! (John 20:15)
Walking with the Master Gardener
In the first garden, Eden, the LORD God and Adam fellowshipped until Adam and Eve betrayed that bond through disobedience. The plan of Redemption is revealed with the sacrifice of the first animal; the shedding of blood and the covering given to Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:21).
In the garden of the New Jerusalem, once again Adam and Eve – you and me – will get to walk with the LORD God.
In the Song of Solomon 8:13 there is a symbolic instruction which may also be taken literally.
The Beloved (ie the Lord Jesus) says
“You who dwell in the gardens,
The companions listen for your voice-
Let Me hear it!”
For many, our gardens today are a place to meet with family and friends. But as we work in them and enjoy them, we can reflect on the gardens of the Bible and what took place in them. Then our gardens too can be a place to fellowship with our LORD God, the Master Gardener.
Helen Cronin lives in Dorset in the UK with her husband and two dogs. She has been a gardener ever since she could hold a trowel! Part of her home garden was featured on the first series of the British TV Programme “Big Dreams, Small Spaces” with Monty Don
Helen loves to help people turn their ordinary places into beautiful spaces. She writes about Garden design, gardening projects and her Garden on her website www.leavesfrommygarden.co.uk.
If you would like to know more about how to create your own Garden, Helen has a free book: the Quick Start Guide to Designing Your Garden – You can ask for your copy here.
The Gardens Of The Bible
Man was placed, at his creation, in a garden. This garden – or “paradise,” as in some parts of the Bible it is rendered, – was situated within another and larger domain called Eden. This whole region, as its name implies, was one of remarkable fertility and beauty. Its true site we are now unable to determine. The inhabitants of China, India, Ceylon, Persia, Syria, Ethiopia, and indeed of every quarter of the globe, have maintained, each for themselves, that the happy spot must have been within their respective countries. The Ceylonese, among others, point the traveler to Adam’s peak, to the ruins of Adam’s bridge and of Abel’s tomb. Most learned critics, however, agree that it was situated in Armenia, between the sources of the four rivers, Tigris, Euphrates, Araxes, and Phasis.
But, whatever may have been its site, of this we are certain, that it was distinguished for the productiveness of its soil, and for the beauty of its climate and of its scenery. “Out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food. * * * And a river went out of Eden to water the garden.” Here our imaginations may have full scope to picture a scene of unmingled comfort and of perfect enchantment The Creator planted this garden. What a paradise, then, it must have been! God laid himself out (be it reverently said) to store it with everything that could contribute to man’s highest enjoyment What were the trees and plants of which the happy pair ate ‘ Perhaps the Fig, the Orange, the Pear, the Peach, and the Vine, were among the number. What were the trees upon whose majesty or grace they looked, and under whose shade they reclined? Perhaps the Palm, the Oak, the Magnolia, the Cypress, the Cedar, the Pine, and Fir. Every breeze bore to them the fragrance of flowers, the songs of birds, and the murmur of running streams.
” Out of the fertile ground caused to grow:
All trees of noblest kind for sight, smell, taste;
* * * the crisped brooks,
Rolling an orient pearl and sands of gold,
Ponr’d forth profuse on hill and dale and plain.
* * * * * * *
Groves whose rich trees wept odorous gums and balm, Others whose fruit burnish’d with golden rind. Hung amiable, Hesperian fables true, If true, here only, and of delicious taste: Betwixt them lawns, or level downs, and flocks Grazing the tender herb, were intersper’d, Or palmy hillock; or the flowery lap Of some irriguous valley spgead her store, Flowers of all hue, and without thorn the Rose”.
Among the trees of this garden was “the tree of life,” and “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Of the first, in addition to its spiritual import, it is supposed that it was an evergreen tree, flourishing continually with leaves and fruit It grew nowhere except within the garden; for it is mentioned as a reason for man’s expulsion therefrom, “lest he should put forth his hand and take of the tree of life.” Of the second, we know only that it was appointed to serve as a test of man’s obedience. In this garden man was placed, “to dress and to keep it” – that is, to cultivate and to beautify it still further. A high trust and privilege, surely, it was to have charge of such a paradise! How long Adam held possession of this happy abode, we do not know. How long the trees waved in their glory, and the flowers diffused their fragrance, and the soil yielded its return to man’s easy labor; how long before the thorn and thistle were seen shooting up from the ground, and frost and blight and untimely storms and burning suns turned that garden into a desert, we are entirely ignorant: but that such a time came, and all too soon, we have abundant evidence.
The Bible contains but few special notices of the gardening of the Hebrews, or of other contemporaneous nations. In the early ages of the world, when men seem to have led a somewhat migratory life, little was done in the way of tilling the soil beyond what was necessary for the immediate wants of the inhabitants; and in the climate of Eastern Asia, abounding in so many spontaneous fruits, but little labor was required. When, however, men became established in permanent homes, – as, for example, the Jews in Canaan, – they at once began to cultivate their fields and to plant gardens with much care.
Jacob had a garden in Hebron, from which at one time his sons gathered “a little balm, and a little honey, spices and myrrh, nuts and almonds,” as a present for the Governor of Egypt Solomon had a garden in Jerusalem. It was situated on the eastern side of the city, just without the walls, between Mount Zion and the brook Cedron. Of its size we have no certain knowledge, though, if we may judge from the number of trees and plants grown within it, it must have been large. It was square, and surrounded by a high wall. Its proprietor was quite a botanist, for his time;
Lily of the Valley, the Calamus, Camphor, Spikenard, Saffron, and Cinnamon; timber-trees, as the Cedar, the Pine, and the Fir; and the richest fruits, as the Fig, Grape, Apple, Palm,* and Pomegranate.” – Loudon. It was also watered by wells and running streams. Naboth had a vineyard in Samaria, adjoining the palace of Ahab. He must have been a very good gardener, or his king a very covetous man; for it appears that his purple clusters looked so tempting, from Ahab’s windows, that the king could not restrain his desire to get possession of them. Ahasuerus had a garden near his palace at Jerusalem, whither he often went to refresh himself; but of its size or products we know nothing.
It is evident that the garden among the Hebrews, as throughout all the East, was a place of more frequent resort than it is with us. It was fitted up with arbors embowered in vines, and with aviaries and seraglios (or tasteful cottages); and streams of water were conducted through it, both for use and beauty. It was resorted to less for exercise than for rest and enjoyment; the climate of that country rendering desirable a place for repose, a quiet spot sheltered from the sun by broad-leaved trees and clustering branches, amid which to breathe the fresh air, to view the landscape, to hear the song of birds and the sound of running water. The Bible is the only book from which we can learn how the Hebrew managed his farm and garden; and the information from this source is somewhat scanty. This, however, we know, that in his fields he grew Wheat, Rye, Barley, Millet, Vetches, Lentils and Beans; and in his garden he raised Cucumbers, Melons, Almonds, Pomegranates, Olives, Figs, Grapes, Gourds, Onions, Garlic, Anise, Cummin, Coriander, Mustard, and various Spices; to which may be added many flowers, whose names the Bible does not record.
He raised in his garden what his climate especially required for his comfort and health – juicy, cooling fruits, to assuage his thirst; spices and fragrant herbs, to regale him with pleasant odors; and wine, to refresh his spirits.
Before leaving this part of the subject, it may be worthy of remark, as showing the horticultural knowledge of Moses, that he forbade the Hebrew to ripen any fruit on the Vine and Olive for the first three years after they were planted, so as to enable them to become mature and thrifty.
When the sacred writers would speak of a state or condition of the Jewish people much to be desired, they often represent it by such figures as, “Sitting every man under his own vine and fig-tree, with none to molest or make afraid,” etc.; thus indi-cating, it would seem, that in the mind of a Hebrew the peaceful ownership of a garden was among the highest of earthly felicities. And in Abraham’s purchase of “the field of Ephron, with the cave, and all the trees that were in the field,” and in the frequent burials amid groves of Oak, mentioned in the Bible, may we not see how greatly the Hebrew delighted in trees as a protection and shade for his last resting-place?
• The more careful writers of the present day hold that the Rose of modern gardens is not once referred to in the Scriptures, though It is not doubted that it was well known in the earliest sges of the world, and had a place in every garden of the Bible. The Lily of the Valley was not the humble plant which appears in our borders, but a large flower growing wild in Palestine, especially in valleys. The “Lilies of the •eld,” between which and Solomon’s attire Christ drew a comarisen, was, it is supposed, a red Lily; and, as the royal robe was purple, such comparison was beautifully appropriate. The fruit referred to in the Bible under the name of the Apple, is now eommonly supposed to have been the Citron.
But, leaving the gardens of the Old Testament, let us pass to those of the New. The garden of Gethsemane was a grove in the outskirts of the village of Gethsemane, on the western slope of the Mount of Olives. It was a pleasant retreat from the noise and heat of the neighboring city, Jerusalem; and here our Savior frequently resorted with his disciples. Amid these shades he suffered great agony of mind, on the eve of his crucifixion; here an angel descended to comfort him; and here he was betrayed. History informs us that Titus cut down all the trees in the neighborhood of Jerusalem, including those in Gethsemane; but the Olive and some others sprang up again, and trees of this description have continued to thrive until the present day, in this their ancient locality.
Our Savior was buried in a garden, in the suburbs of Jerusalem. The city was surrounded with pleasure-grounds of various kinds; and as the soil was much broken with huge masses of projecting rock, the Jews often turned them to good account by cutting family vaults in them. It was in one of these tombs, which Joseph of Ari-mathea had prepared for himself in his own garden, that Christ was interred. The funeral took place just before sunset of Saturday, early in April, just as all nature was reviving after the sleep of winter.
The future state of the righteous is often spoken of in Scripture under the figure of a garden. It is three times called a “paradise.” It is also represented as a place of rest, where the inhabitants shall be shielded from the oppressive light and heat of the sun, and be refreshed by living fountains of water. And as though Eden were again restored, we are shown “a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb; and on either side of the river, is the tree of life, bearing twelve manner of fruits, and yielding her fruit every month, and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations”.
Such are some of the gardens referred to in the Bible. In his primitive state, man’s home was a garden. And in all his subsequent history, the peaceful culture of the soil has contributed largely to his happiness, being “the inclination of kings and the choice of philosophers,” as well as of those in humbler walks of life. In a garden the Savior instructed his disciples, and there he was betrayed; in a garden he made his tomb; and in a garden fairer than that of Eden, whose fruits and flowers shall never fail, and whose leaves shall be always green, the good shall be gathered at last and remain forever more.
Berean Bible Society
“And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man whom He had formed” (Gen. 2:8).
The Greek name for the Garden of Eden is Paradise (Gr. paradeisos, “beautiful garden”). While this garden is not discussed in the New Testament, it is surely alluded to several times. In any case, we may be sure that if God planted the garden in Eden it was indeed a “Paradise,” a beautiful garden.
Let us not blame God for the hideous scars this earth now bears. Blame man and his pride and greed. Blame his marching armies, his guns and bombs. Blame his “intellectual achievements,” his ability to pollute its surface and its atmosphere with toxic fumes and wastes, and with deafening noises—all in the name of progress. Blame his irresponsibility in cluttering its habitable surface with debris.
God did not place man in such an atmosphere. Rather, “the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.” How breathtakingly beautiful, how ineffably delightful these surroundings must have been! Adam and Eve, in Eden, must have enjoyed each other’s company here as no other wedded couple since, with only the light and pleasant responsibility to “dress” and “keep” the garden1 (Gen. 2:15), and with the special blessing of open fellowship with God, perhaps especially “in the cool of the day” (Gen. 2:19,22,23; 3:8).
But when man fell, all creation fell with him. Man now had a fallen, sinful nature. The animal creation suddenly became wild and vicious, and as to the vegetable creation, God said to Adam: “Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee, and…in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread…” (Gen. 3:17-19). And to the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children…” (3:16). And even this manner of living was to be cut short at last by death and a “return unto the ground; for out of it,” said God, “wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (3:19). Indeed, lest man should now eat of the tree of life and live forever, God “sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till2 the ground from whence he was taken” (Gen. 3:23). Thus it is that we read in Romans 5:12:
“Wherefore…by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all3 men, for that all have sinned.”
Ever since that dreadful day, man’s greatest problem has been his sin. This is what lies at the root of all his trouble and misery, though the subject is not even dealt with in our great works on science. Obvious as is the fact of sin and its results, any consideration of this subject is brushed aside by the intellectuals of this world.
A GARDEN FOR THE REDEEMED
The results of the fall were indeed disastrous, changing man’s habitation from that of a beautiful garden to that of fields and forests that must be cleared and cultivated by laborious effort in the face of relentless opposition from many quarters. For the redeemed who departed this life, however, God again provided a beautiful garden.
In “Old Testament” times the general designation for this place of the departed was sheol (Hebrew), with its Greek equivalent hades, both meaning “the unseen.” However, an examination of Luke 16:19-31 reveals that sheol, or hades, was divided into two areas, separated by “a great gulf” (Ver. 26). The term “Abraham’s bosom” (Ver. 22) describes one aspect of the place where the redeemed went. It was the place where Abraham, the “father of believers,” welcomed all his dear children home, as it were. But another aspect of this wonderful place is described by the name Paradise: Beautiful Garden.
In his youth this writer somehow envisioned hades as a great two-part cavernous region, dimly lit and mysterious. But our Lord’s designation of the blessed area as “Paradise” throws an entirely different light upon it.
How it must have touched the heart of the repentant thief crucified next to our Lord, to be assured by the Savior Himself:
“Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43).
This assurance must have filled him with comfort and joy despite the pain he suffered. Soon he would be with Christ in a beautiful garden! Gardens are where people go to rest and be refreshed, thus a garden of God’s planting must be infinitely more delightful, and to be in such a garden “with Christ”: what unspeakable joy!
But according to the prophetic Scriptures, the Paradise of Eden will one day be gloriously restored and vastly enlarged. This will take place when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to earth to reign and Israel is saved and salvation and blessing flow from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth. Here we could cite literally scores of Old Testament passages in confirmation, but a few will suffice:
“Out of Zion shall go forth the law,4 and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Isa. 2:3).
“The Lord of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem” (Isa. 24:23).
“Yea, all kings shall fall down before Him; all nations shall serve Him” (Psa. 72:11).
“Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord” (Zech. 8:22).
Paul confirms this in his epistle to the Romans:
“And so all Israel shall be saved; as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob” (Rom. 11:26).
“Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers;
“And that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, as it is written…” (Rom. 15:8,9).
The results of this spiritual transformation will be far-reaching. No longer will man need to till a perverse soil and eat his bread in the sweat of his brow, for the curse will be removed from the vegetable creation:
“The desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly…for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water” (Isa. 35:1,2,6,7).
The animal creation too will have the curse removed:
“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain” (Isa. 11:6-9).
And the curse shall be removed from mankind itself:
“The eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing” (Isa. 35:5,6).
“There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old;5 but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed” (Isa. 65:20).
Other aspects of the fall will also be removed and reversed:
Christ will be known by all: “The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:9).
Government will be purified: “A King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth” (Jer. 23:5).
War and bloodshed will be abolished: “And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isa. 2:4).
Israel’s suffering and sorrow will then be over—and that of the other nations as well: “They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isa. 35:10 cf. 40:5; 60:3).
These are the conditions that will prevail when our Lord, the rightful King, reigns on earth for 1000 years. This will indeed be Paradise restored, and more.
PARADISE EXALTED or THE HEAVENLY PARADISE
Thus far we have considered Paradise, the Garden of Eden, also the Paradise so graciously prepared for believers of former ages, and Eden’s Paradise gloriously restored and enlarged during the kingdom reign of Christ.
But what about the dispensation under which we now live—a dispensation which has now lasted for almost 2,000 years? With regard to the delay in our Lord’s return to reign and restore this poor stricken world, the Apostle Paul states:
“We know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.6
“And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (Rom. 8:22,23).
Ah, but the apostle also reveals a “mystery,” a secret not made known until the risen, glorified Lord revealed it to him, not all at once, but by installments (See Acts 26:16; II Cor. 12:1).
This revelation concerns the position, blessings and prospect of believers in the present “dispensation of the grace of God.” It must be that God reserved His greatest blessings for those who should trust His Son during the age of His rejection—“this present evil age” (Gal. 1:4), for Paul relates in II Corinthians 12:1-7 how he was “caught up to the third heaven,” and he describes it as “Paradise”: beautiful garden! Think of it! the highest heaven (Gr., epouranios) a beautiful garden. This surely is Paradise exalted! Indeed, the apostle “heard unspeakable words” there, which a man was not permitted to utter. Here he was in the presence of God Himself, seeing and hearing things which we could not even begin to grasp. And so ineffably glorious was this revelation that God sent a “messenger of Satan” to buffet him physically, with “a thorn in the flesh,” lest he should be exalted above measure, and he repeats the reason twice for emphasis (See II Cor. 12:7).
We cannot now grasp the glories which are ours in the heavenlies in Christ, but we can believe God’s Word that this is our position and these are our blessings (Eph. 2:6; 1:3). What is ours by grace we may now appropriate by faith alone, but the time will come when we will enjoy them actually, really. Then we shall see that the ideas we had of God’s presence and surroundings as only blazing, dazzling brilliance, were most inadequate, for Paul was there and, with all its glory, described it as Paradise, a beautiful garden, far more beautiful, surely, than anything we could even begin to imagine.
THE PARADISE OF GOD
We do not have space in this brief article to deal at length with what God has prepared for us in the ages beyond the kingdom reign of Christ, nor why this writer believes that gradually, during the millennium, and finally in full perfection forever, the redeemed nations of the earth and the redeemed in heaven will have full and open fellowship together. Then will be brought to pass the truth of Ephesians 1:10.
“That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him.”
Then “the paradise of God” on earth, referred to in Revelation 2:7, will be opened to the paradise in heaven! Who knows what glories lie ahead for the children of God! We can only look forward by faith to learning all about it by personal experience, for surely these are some, only a few, of the things “which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” But at least we know already that it is His gracious purpose:
“That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:7).
- This was before the vegetable creation was cursed.
- Note: not to “dress” the garden, but to “till” the ground.
- All were in Adam and have come from Adam.
- Now obeyed spontaneously, from the heart (Jer. 31:33).
- I.e., One who dies at 100 years of age will be considered a mere child, and will die only as a judgment upon sin, which will not be tolerated at that time.
- I.e., the curse has not yet been removed (because our Lord’s reign has been rejected and awaits a future day).
Bible verses about flowers
In the Bible flowers are often used as symbolism for beauty, growth, temporal things, fullness, and more. The gospel can be seen in all of creation. Flowers are a beautiful reminder of our glorious God.
- “God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars.” Martin Luther
- “Flowers are the music of the ground from earth’s lips spoken without sound.” -Edwin Curran
- “Where flowers bloom, so does hope.”
- “Love is like a beautiful flower which I may not touch, but whose fragrance makes the garden a place of delight just the same.”
- “Every flower must grow through dirt.”
Flowers will fade
You can give flowers sunlight, you can give the proper amount of water, but one thing will always remain true. Flowers will eventually fade and die. Anything in this world that we put our hope in will one day wither away. Whether it be money, beauty, humans, stuff, etc. However, unlike flowers and the things of this world God and His Word will always remain the same. God’s sovereignty, His faithfulness, and His love will never fade. Praise be to our God.
1. James 1:10-11 “But the rich should take pride in their humiliation–since they will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.”
2. Psalm 103:14-15 “For he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.”
3. Isaiah 28:1 “What sorrow awaits the proud city of Samaria–the glorious crown of the drunks of Israel. It sits at the head of a fertile valley, but its glorious beauty will fade like a flower. It is the pride of a people brought down by wine.”
4. Isaiah 28:4 “It sits at the head of a fertile valley, but its glorious beauty will fade like a flower. Whoever sees it will snatch it up, as an early fig is quickly picked and eaten.”
5. 1 Peter 1:24 “For, All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall.”
6. Isaiah 40:6 “A voice says, “Cry out.” And I said, “What shall I cry?” “All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.”
7. Isaiah 40:8 “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”
8. Job 14:1-2 “Mortals, born of woman, are of few days and full of trouble. They spring up like flowers and wither away; like fleeting shadows, they do not endure.”
9. Isaiah 5:24 “Therefore, just as fire licks up stubble and dry grass shrivels in the flame, so their roots will rot and their flowers wither. For they have rejected the law of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies; they have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.”
God cares for the flowers of the field.
God cares for all of His creation. This should cause us to rejoice in our trials. If He provides for even the smallest flowers, how much more will He provide for you! You are so loved. He sees you in your situation. It might seem like God is nowhere in sight. However, don’t look to what is seen. God will take care of you in your situation.
10. Luke 12:27-28 “Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?”
11. Psalm 145:15-16 “The eyes of all look to you in hope; you give them their food as they need it. When you open your hand, you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.”
12. Psalm 136:25-26 “He gives food to every living thing. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of heaven. His faithful love endures forever.”
13. Psalm 104:24-25 “How many are your works, LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number— living things both large and small.”
The growth process
When you plant a seed eventually it will grow into a flower. For a flower to grow it needs water, nutrients, air, light, and time. In the same way, we need things to grow in Christ. We need to discipline ourselves spiritually.
We need to (wash ourselves and feed ourselves) with the Word. We need to be around a (positive environment) so our growth is not hindered.
We need to (spend time) with the Lord. As we do these things there will be growth in our life. Just like there are some flowers that grow faster than others, there are some Christians that grow faster than others.
14. Hosea 14:5-6 “I will be like dew to the people of Israel. They will blossom like flowers. They will be firmly rooted like cedars from Lebanon. They will be like growing branches. They will be beautiful like olive trees. They will be fragrant like cedars from Lebanon.”
15. 2 Pet 3:18 “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the honor both now and on that eternal day.”
16. 1 Peter 2:2 “Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment.”
The sweetness of the presence of Christ.
Flowers are used to illustrate the beauty of Christ and His Word.
17. Song of Solomon 5:13 “His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.”
18. Song of Solomon 5:15 “His legs are pillars of alabaster Set on pedestals of pure gold; His appearance is like Lebanon Choice as the cedars.”
19. Song of Solomon 2:13 “The fig tree has ripened its figs, And the vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance. Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, And come along!”
The flourishing estate of the church
Where there was once dryness, there will be fullness because of Christ. Flowers are used to illustrate the joyful flourishing of Christ’s kingdom.
20. Isaiah 35:1-2 “Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days. The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses. Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy! The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon, as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon. There the Lord will display his glory, the splendor of our God.”
Song of Solomon 2:1-2 “I am the rose of Sharon, The lily of the valleys.” “Like a lily among the thorns, So is my darling among the maidens.”
Genesis 2:4-3:24 New International Version (NIV)
Adam and Eve
4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.
5 Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. 7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23 The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”
24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,
“Cursed are you above all livestock
and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.”
16 To the woman he said,
“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.”
17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’
“Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.”
20 Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.
21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
- Genesis 2:5 Or land; also in verse 6
- Genesis 2:6 Or mist
- Genesis 2:7 The Hebrew for man (adam) sounds like and may be related to the Hebrew for ground (adamah); it is also the name Adam (see verse 20).
- Genesis 2:12 Or good; pearls
- Genesis 2:13 Possibly southeast Mesopotamia
- Genesis 2:20 Or the man
- Genesis 2:21 Or took part of the man’s side
- Genesis 2:22 Or part
- Genesis 3:15 Or seed
- Genesis 3:15 Or strike
- Genesis 3:20 Or The man
- Genesis 3:20 Eve probably means living.
- Genesis 3:24 Or placed in front
The Garden of Eden – Genesis 1:26 – 1:31
1:26 And God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’
1:27 So God created man in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
1:29 And God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.
1:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has breath of life, I have given every green plant for food’, and it was so.
1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, indeed it was very good. And then there was evening and there was morning on the sixth day.
This passage from Genesis and illustration of the Garden of Eden come from a version of the Bible published in 1660.
The story of creation, told in the opening chapter of the Bible, is one of the earliest descriptions of paradise. The image of the Garden of Eden is a powerful one. The creation myth and the Garden of Eden represent the beginning of human time and experience, and therefore can conjure powerful images of a pure time and place, unmarked by history. In common with other early myths, it is set outside time and marks an ideal or Golden Age before things went wrong in the world.
The Genesis myth was set in Mesopotamia. It was written down in c.10 BC by scribes of the ‘priestly tradition’. This extract may originally have been part of a chant or chorus sung at the New Year festival in the spring.